Hi everyone! Above is a multiplication chart and below are some times tables. Don’t worry if it’s not yet clear how it works, it’s all explained below.
In this lesson we’re going to cover:
- Using Times Tables to learn multiples fast.
- How to read and use a Multiplication Chart.
- Practicing to perfection!
We’ve also got some colorful printable resources (and their monochrome counterparts for school printers).
You will see in the colorful tables below, the first 12 multiples of every number from 1 to 20, along with the equation.
Why Should I Learn the Times Tables?
You should learn the times tables because they make doing quick math in your head very easy. Less time adding numbers or counting on your fingers means more time living your life – or solving the rest of the problem!
So, the next time you want to know how much it costs to buy 7 things for $8 each, instead of having to slowly count in 8’s using your fingers to keep track, you’ll already know the answer is 56!
Won’t that be great?
Of course, memorizing takes some time and practice but trust me, it’s worth it in the end – they’ll stick with you for the rest of your life.
One great way to memorize your times tables:
- Print them out.
- See which ones you find hard to memorize.
- Cut these out and stick them wherever you look often. Some examples are:
- Your desk.
- Back of your bedroom door.
- Your mirror (not in the middle of it, though).
- On the cover of your diary/planner.
- Next to your bed.
- Then, every time you see one of them, read through it from top to bottom, taking your time on any combinations you find tricky to remember.
- When you feel able, take a quick look at the times table, close your eyes and say it to yourself (out loud is best). Open your eyes and check if you got it.
Want to keep all the times tables in one place?
You might prefer using a multiplication chart, like this one!
This has to be one of my favorite tools for learning multiplication. I do love a good visual representation – and the spectrum of visible light, what we call a rainbow!
Here it is in greyscale too for accessibility, please choose the one that is easier for you or your students to see.
What I particularly like about this style above is that the square numbers (1×1=1, 2×2=4, 3×3=9, etc.) are highlighted. If you prefer a plain chart, please see our printables below.
How To Use a Multiplication Chart
To use a multiplication chart, start by use the numbers 1 to 12 on left side as the multipliers. Let’s choose 9 as a multiplier for this example.
The numbers 1 to 12 across the top are the multiplicands. We’ll choose 4 as a multiplicand for this example.
Follow the row across from the 9, and the column down from the 4. Where they meet is the product.
So, you can see that 9×4=36
You can do this with any of the numbers… why don’t you try a few combinations to test it out?
(If you don’t get how it works, please let me know in the comments and I will add some more explanations.)
Using the Multiplication Chart to Learn and Study
Now, you’ve got the chart, and you can see how it works, but…
Q: How do you use it to learn effectively?
A: Break it down into sections!
Learning small chunks is always easier than learning loads in one go. Here are two ways of breaking the chart down to make learning it easier.
Take your pick and get learning! Personally, I prefer Option 1, but they’re both perfectly good ways to break it down.
One last thing to say: You might also have noticed that by following a row all way across (or a column all the way down), you’re looking at a times table!
Practice Zone: Mastering Multiples
Now that you know what times tables are and how they can help with your multiplication, it’s time to start practicing!
Grab a piece or three of paper and write out each times table for numbers 2-12.
If you’re struggling, using a calculator or resource to help you isn’t cheating!
Once you’ve done this…
Fill in the chart in PhET’s Arithmetic, a simple but effective game (select “Multiply”). Do this once a day to test yourself and make sure your memory is unbeatable!
Then, head on over to the best game I’ve found for overall multiplication practice:
- Select “Play Game“
- Choose “Times Tables“.
- Select “Mixed” for all-round practice, or focus in on a specific number.
- Get started with “Hit the Answer“.
- Challenge yourself with “Hit the Question“.
With regular practice, you’ll soon be a multiplication whiz!
How Can I Learn My Times Tables Fast?
You can learn your times tables fast using these 5 tips and the shortcuts below to unlock your brain’s love for learning.
Tip 1: Your brain loves patterns.
Tip 2: Little and often goes further than a lot all at once. Practice a little every day for two weeks, then every other day for another two weeks.
Tip 3: Variety is the spice of life. Use different methods or, at the very least, change which number you’re focusing on regularly to keep it interesting.
Tip 4: Bring your thoughts to life: use your voice!
Tip 5: Write them out. Handwriting engages your brain to focus on the information you’re writing, storing it in your memory more effectively.
Tricks for Learning Multiples by Number
Using tricks to learn your times tables is a great idea. There are a bunch of tricks below, but unfortunately for 3, 7, 13, and 14, you’ll just have to put the time in to learn them by heart.
Trick for 2
Double it. Add the number to itself:
Trick for 4
Double it. Twice. So, add the number to itself twice:
Trick for 5
Halve the number and multiply by 10 (not so easy for odd numbers):
Another option is to multiply by 10 then halve it (better for odd numbers):
Or, for 5×7, you could do 5×6 and add 5.
Trick for 6
6 times an even number will end with the same number:
6×4 = 24
6×6 = 36
6×8 = 48
…and so on.
Trick for 7×8
Say 5, 6, 7, 8 to yourself… no this is not the start of a song, this is how you multiply 7 by 8.
Trick for 8
This is going to sound familiar: Double, double, and double.
Trick for 8×8
This little rhyme sticks with me from childhood:
I was sick on the floor,
Eight times eight
is sixty four.”
Tricks for 9
One Less, Two Less, Three Less…
This trick works from ×1 to ×10 – the first digit is always 1 less than the multiplier:
9×2 = 18
9×3 = 27
… and so on.
From ×11 to ×20, minus 2 from the multiplier for the first two digits.
9×12 = 108
9×13 = 117
… and so on.
For ×21 to ×30, minus 3 from the multiplier for the first two digits.
9×22 = 198
9×23 = 207
… and so on.
Up and Down (The Fingers Trick)
The units go down in 1’s: 9, 18, 27, 36…
The tens go up in 1’s: (0)9, 18, 27, 36, 45…
To get the same effect, use your fingers. It works up to ×10 because… you have 10 fingers 🤪
After ×10, just multiply by the unit, and add 90, 180, 270, etc.
9×24 = (9×20)+(9×4)
9×31 = (9×30)+(9×1)
Check your answers. If the sum of the digits is divisible by 9, then it is a multiple of 9.
Example 1: 873 → 8+7+3=18 → 18÷9=2, so 873 is a multiple of 9 (9×97=873)
Example 2: 326 → 3+2+6=11 → 11÷9=1.22…
Trick for 10
Stick a 0 on the end:
Trick for 11
For the first 9 multiples, up to 11×9, just repeat the number:
11×7 = 77
For the next 9 multiples, from 11×10 to 11×18, ad the digits together and put it in the middle:
11×18 = 1(1+8)8
Trick for 12
Times 10 the number, then add 2 times the number:
= 40 + 8
Trick for 15
Times by 10 then add half of the number again:
= 60 + (60÷2)
= 60 + 30
Trick for 20
Double then times by 10:
(Remember the trick for ×10 – just put a 0 on the end)
Printable Times Tables
(1 to 20) x (1 to 12) — A4 PDF Color
(1 to 20) x (1 to 12) – A4 PDF Greyscale
Printable Multiplication Charts
Multiplication Chart – Symmetry
Multiplication Chart – Questions
Multiplication Chart – Learning in Sections
To Sum Up (Pun Intended)
So, that’s multiplication using times tables up to 20 and a multiplication chart up to 12!
A Quick Recap:
Multiplication is adding a number to itself over and over again.
If you ever need to multiply two numbers and you either don’t have a times table, multiplication chart, or haven’t learned them by heart…
Add the number to itself as many times as the other number in the equation says you should.
Better yet, learn your times tables and print out a multiplication chart for yourself!
I hope this helped you and thanks for reading! 🙂